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Author Interview with Scott Bergstrom

AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH SCOTT BERGSTROM

Author of The Cruelty

Hello my faithful Bookies,

I’m so excited to share with you my exclusive author interview with Scott Bergstrom who’s debut novel The Cruelty is out now.  

If you haven’t done so already, do yourselves a favour, go and get The Cruelty now. There are so many theme’s throughout this book and it may surprise you to find that these themes are eye opening. Also it’s nice to have a strong female protagonist, but if you want to know more about this book see my review in this link.

I spent quite some time mewling over these questions because as any avid fan would, I had MANY but I also wanted to bring you, my followers, insightful and exclusive information as to how Scott created his masterpiece.

Before I jump into the interview I just wanted to say a special thanks to Scott for taking the time to answer my questions, it has been an honour and a privilege to speak with you.

And thank you Anna for setting it up!

So without further ado…..

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How did the idea for The Cruelty come about, were you always captivated by spies and assassins or did the idea come to you in some special way?

I’ve always loved thrillers. Growing up, my parents always had them lying around. So I started grabbing those great paperbacks off my parents’ nightstands, probably when I was way too young for them. The first kernel of a plot for The Cruelty came when my mother, who was working for the State Department, volunteered for a posting in Baghdad. To say the least, I was very concerned for her safety. But the specifics of the plot came to me when I was travelling on a train between Berlin and Prague. I found myself in the train’s corridor, staring at the handle for the emergency brake. I wondered, what would happen if I pulled it? That scene is still there, in the middle of the novel, and everything before it and after it came from that one question.

When you first began writing The Cruelty was it always your plan to write for the young adult audience? What appealed to you with YA fiction verses adult fiction? 

The theme of self-discovery is one we all wrestle with throughout our lives, but particularly when we’re young. That idea of growth, of searching for and finding one’s self, is something that is well-suited to YA and that YA does very well. At the beginning of The Cruelty, Gwendolyn is a cynic who doesn’t believe in heroes, even saying they belong only in ‘paper worlds.’ But when her father disappears, she discovers she needs to become precisely that—a hero—if she’s going to bring him home.

I love Gwendolyn, she’s a very strong character for so many reasons. What made you decide to make your protagonist a female teenager? Is there a message you particularly wanted to convey through choosing a female lead?

The character of Gwendolyn came to me a year or so before I started writing The Cruelty. I was working on a non-fiction book about architecture, when she showed up in my imagination one day. Certain specific qualities of her are based on my wife, most predominantly her courage, but the smaller aesthetic details are my wife’s as well, such as the red Doc Martens she wears, and her dislike of skirts and make-up. As far as the message, it applies regardless of gender, and it’s that human bravery and heroism are real, or can be, with enough determination.

You’ve come so far and I’m sure learnt so much since self publishing, winning publishing contracts worldwide and film rights which are some major feats. Did your experiences while going through these publishing processes prompt you to make any unplanned changes from your original self printed editions?

There was a long gap between when I finished the novel and the time it was accepted for publication. During that time I had a chance to think about the story and fix the things that bothered me about it, things I thought I could do better, or themes I could make more explicit. I’m very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with my editor at Feiwel, who was a wonderful guide, pointing out areas that were unclear, or poorly rendered, or could simply be made tighter.

 

The Cruelty is full of action, self development and growth, strength and change as well as perseverance, courage and loyalty, there is so much a reader can take out of this book. And I found many scene’s particularly realistic and touching.

Is there a particular scene you found the hardest to write or one that is perhaps your favourite?

 My favourite scenes are the ones that describe particular places, such as the warehouse in Berlin, or the secret police station. I stumbled upon these places in my travels purely by chance, before I ever knew they would be part of a story. They were so fascinating with their strange beauty and history that I couldn’t help but imagine the stories that might take place inside them.

We got to hear a lot about the incident in which Gwendolyn lost her mother, will we get to uncover any more mysteries surrounding how that event came to take place in the next book? Could she perhaps have been a spy as well?

Funny you should ask! While the actual incident in which Gwendolyn’s mother dies doesn’t play much of a role in the sequel, we do learn a lot more about her mother, and the context in which Gwen grew up. As for whether or not her mother had been a spy, too—well, let’s just say Gwen’s skills run in the family.

What can we expect to see in your forthcoming book The Greed?

The Greed, which will be coming out in February of 2018, picks up about a year after The Cruelty ends. We find Gwendolyn in a new country, with a new name, trying to wrestle with what it means to be a fugitive always looking over her shoulder. There’s a new adventure, set in a variety of countries, and Terrance comes back in a very big way. 

Lastly if there was one tip you could give aspiring authors, what would it be?

Here are two things I’ve learned from other writers far more experienced that I am. One: The more you write, the better you get, especially if you have critique partners whose opinions you take to heart. Two: Keep going. No matter what. Writing day after day, continuing to research agents and send off queries, even in the face of rejection after rejection—that takes persistence, and in my opinion, there’s no substitute for it.

Thanks for reading!

Scott & Ashleigh

Kingpin by Lili St. Germain

Title: Kingpin   Author: Lili St. Germain   Series: Cartel Trilogy   Genre: Adult, Crime/Thriller   Rating: Four Stars

WARNING – THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS SOZ GUYS.
I just need to vent my frustrations out on this one.

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Okay so if you read my first review on Book One Cartel you’ll be aware how much I liked Dornan. If you haven’t read my review of book one, do so now. Anyway, I gave the book a three stars. I kind of feel like I should have given that book more because I enjoyed the characters more in that book but it just didn’t have enough story line for me to justify a fourth star as much as it kills me. This book I can honestly say I disliked this book even more for many reasons which I am about to go into now BUT I have to admit to myself, despite my personal preferences, Kingpin just had a better plot than Cartel. There was just more drama, more risk and danger and a more realistic portrayal of cartel life. 

With that said, that is practically the only reason this book gets the fourth  star compared to book one. Now please don’t kill me because I know a lot of you love this series and Germain as an author but I’m totally going to just come out and say everything that I felt was wrong with this book and I’m sorry but there I loved.

Yes I know that is weird considering I gave the book a four but my rating is not based on personal preference its based on plot, description, suspense, character growth or purposeful lack there of in this case and of course the very realistic portrayal of how screwed up the cartel is.

OKAY. Here we go. My number one issue with this book is that we ended Cartel, book one, on such a sweet note. Dornan and Mariana were in love and full of passion and lust and everything else. Kingpin picks up TEN FREAKING YEARS LATER. I have a real issue with this, some of you may not, if you don’t please tell me why so I might try to overcome this issue which has been plaguing my dreams for a week. Because Germain for some crazy unknown reason decided to pick the story up ten years later we’ve miss Dornan and Mariana’s whole honeymoon stage. I was expecting more love and lust and passion and steamy sex scene’s with emotion in them in this book but NO. She’d been practically held prisoner for ten years while he came and went from his own private brothel whenever he pleased. WHAT THE HECK?

I haven’t done much research on this book so sorry if there was a legitimate reasoning for this decision but I just sat there on my lounge with the book in my hands and was like, what on earth just happened? Why is the story picking up from ten years later instead of right where we left off? You cannot seriously tell me that in ten years nothing happened that was worth mentioning in the second book? Yes, I know there were brief mentions throughout the book of things that occurred during those ten years but I feel it would have been more effective to have the second book be about Dornan and Mariana and how they avoided his father’s watchful eye and how she learnt to deal with her dramatic life changes and what the cartel did on a daily basis. Instead I was thrown a major curve ball that I was just not prepared for. 

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Okay, I liked his character in Cartel but I didn’t like it enough for me to want him to be her love interest. I was still drooling all over Dornan when I picked up this book so it was a sure slap in the face to read how Dornan was hardly ever around and only came and went when he wanted sex. Because the book took place ten years after I’d left off reading I also found that we did’t effectively get to see/read Dornan and Mariana’s gradual demise, their drifting apart. This could have been executed differently, over four books even so that this change was felt and conveyed better to the reader. It would have been so much better to show Mariana and Dornan slowly grow apart as he took on more in the cartel and she longed for the life that was stolen from her. Instead we were just told of how she/he felt and had to just accept the fact. This made the novel feel very disjointed to me as a reader and the change in situation was so sudden and jolting. Yes it was communicated effectively and defiantly came across realistic but because of the gap in time we just didn’t get to feel it as much as I would have liked.  

I will admit that it was great that we saw Mariana get some of her fire back. We were told how feisty she was in book one but watched as she was quickly and quietly tamed by Emilio and Dornan. I was glad to see she was taking charge a little more, sneakily planning an escape and stealing money.

The scene with Murphy was so freaking crazy and sooooo screwed up that I was flicking the pages on autopilot completely aghast. That was when I realized this book was not going to go the way I thought it would. From that scene onwards I knew we were leaving the erotica behind and taking on the crime, drugs and murder full time. Don’t get me wrong there was still plenty of sex but the story line took over this book unlike book one which I felt was more about lust and sex than anything else. That dear followers is why this book gets a four stars. Yes I don’t actually like it so much but I was actually reading a story this time with a proper plot not just erotica that was trying to catch on to a Fifty Shades of Grey craze and failing badly.

I think my favorite scene throughout this whole book would have to be when Mariana had called John asking for his help in getting rid of Murphy. When he helped her clean up the mess, dispose of the body and held her in the shower fully clothed while she broke down. That was an intense scene and the only scene that made me go, oh I love John. I need him in my life. It was real and raw and disturbing but mostly it was touching. The way she was in so much shock she couldn’t get her body to do what she wanted and how John had to carefully undress her.  His lust despite the disturbing situation and and her reaction, it all just came across natural, to want to find solace in each other. I loved this scene so much and way more than any normal person should. For goodness sake, she had the blood of a dead man on her and a corpse in her bedroom right behind them. 

I do believe this was a good book, its not a great book and not a series I would recommend to someone who was wanting a love story like I was. I begun this series thinking it was a love story, with erotica and danger but love trumping all. I was so shocked to find it otherwise and I think that may be another reason this series hasn’t rested well with me. I just wasn’t mentally prepared for what was to come and perhaps that was naive of me, I was reading a book about the cartel for goodness sake!

As normal I really could go on with more issues and more things that I love/hated but I think I’ve dragged on enough.

I also have a YouTube  channel if you’d like to check it out because of course, every little bit helps!

Thank you for reading!

Till next time,

xoxo Book Dragon Ash

Cartel by Lili St. Germain

Title: Cartel   Author: Lili St. Germain   Genre: Adult, Crime   Rating: 3 stars

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So these next few reviews are going to be hard for me because well I read all three of them within two days and not my thoughts are all jumbled and my feelings between books one and three vary so damn much. I’ve decided I’ve got a love hate relationship with these books.

I will start by saying if you’re like me and were led to believe that this series is an action packed love story, they lied. Book one, Cartel has the love story in it but the series is not a romance one. It is NOT another  version of 50 Shades of Grey. It’s got sex, drugs and scary cartel crap and yes even has a love story woven in there but there is no way this book – or the whole series – is a romance novel.

Now I’m only saying this because I was not mentally prepared for this series and I’d hate for any of my fellow readers to be like me. With that said I will splurge the rest of my thoughts over this review of Cartel, then my other two reviews on Kingpin and Empire.

WARNING THIS WILL NOT BE A SPOILER FREE REVIEW.

I also read this as an E-book so some of my quotes on pages may differ to yours.

This Lili St. Germain has really crafted something unique here. The novel is set in a very dark, disturbing and realistic world, it is harsh, cruel and unforgiving but it is probably a very honest representation of Colombia and the cartel gangs. I’ll be honest, it scared me the stuff in this book but I knew it was based on some portion of reality because stuff like this does happen so I was glued to the pages instantly.

Its honestly great to be gripped from the first page and that’s what Germain did. She had you in the drama and action immediately. She really didn’t break you in easy, she is a relentless author who captures you from the first word on the first page. I honestly have to admire her gumption,  one of the first scene’s introduces our main character with her partner in an alleyway locked in a moment of fierce passion. LIKE MAN, you have some series courage to open your book with that. I’ll confess, I’ve not read any other Germain books before and I know she’s got a few so I’m not sure if she’s always this gutsy but it sure as hell had me taken by surprise there for a bit. Now I’m not complaining I love an author who takes risks. But, there were a few issues I had with this opening scene.

Firstly, we lost Este in a very dramatic way but I found that for such a pivotal moment in the book we needed more detail. More emotion. Both characters were cute and caring but one moment they’re having sex while they can hear gunshots and the next they’re casually strolling in the opposite direction. They’re not concerned about the gunshots, which yes might be commonplace where they were but human nature is a fickle thing and running from danger is a natural reflex that I don’t think was emulated enough at the time. In addition, I felt like one moment Este was there and the next he was dying which I think was intentional but I also feel was not described with enough detail to let the reader feel and see what Mariana was seeing and feeling. I felt like I was watching through binoculars or something, observing from a distance both in feeling and in description.

Now I absolutely admired Mariana’s resolve at the start of this book, she was gutsy and a firecracker and that’s what drew Dornan to her along with her beauty. Unfortunately we lost that character a little too quickly, yes there were plenty of reasons why Mariana submitted to her owners but I feel for someone who was born and bred in Colombia in the cartel/drug gang lifestyle she just gave up to quickly. I might be along in these opinions but hey, she took multiple beatings from Daddy Dearest all her life, learnt how to fight and dish it back but she can hardly throw a few punches or take any from anyone else?

My next issue is that the first scene of Emilio talks him up like a big scary cartel drug lord, which is communicated perfectly but on page 9 he says “If you crossed the cartel, you got a bullet, simple as that. But your family, your wife and your kids, would go unharmed. At your funeral, a cartel lackey would deliver your wife a couple hundred bucks to get by on.” it went on like that for a another sentence or so but you get my drift. This was such a stupid comment because not once in this book did Emilio adhere to this so called moral code. In fact at every turn he would threaten and probably would have followed through with those threats which were the exact opposite of leaving the family unharmed.

I love Dornan. I’ve always been a sucker for the bad guy, the one who can redeem himself and is just sexy and dark and mysterious. Dornan is the perfect combination of bad and good and I find him quite dominating but still tender in some ways and I love that contrast. Though Mariana and Dornan’s connection was instant I felt it was natural and seamless. Their scene’s together were realistic and tempered nicely and very steamy which was just a bonus.

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I at times felt like there was not enough going on and got a little bored, if not for the sex I think I might not have been so addicted to the story. I think there probably could have been a bit more to the plot than there was and for a book that is 240 odd pages long almost every page or chapter should have had some pivotal information or action. These books are only small, all three of the books in this series add up to one or just over one, of my normal novels so there should not have been a dull moment. 

All in all, I enjoyed this book but I will forewarn you –

Books two and three are nothing like book one and will take a totally different turn. I almost wish I’d stopped at book one as I was happy enough with the story. Books two and three are probably better in terms of plot but you might find yourself disappointed.

Stay tuned for my review on Kingpin and Empire!

If you did enjoy this review, please do remember to give it a star and don’t forget to hit follow if you’d like to keep updated for when I post new rambling blogs!

I also have a YouTube  channel if you’d like to check it out because of course, every little bit helps!

Thank you for reading!

Till next time,

xoxo Book Dragon Ash

Reign of Madness by Kel Kade

Title: Reign of Madness   Author: Kel Kade   Series: King’s Dark Tidings   Genre: YA, Fantasy   Rating: Five Stars

Okay, so after re-reading my mediocre attempt at a review of book one I’ve realized that book two just needs way more attention. For some seriously addictive and full on books I need to take a little more time on explaining why I’m loving them so much.

With that said, I’m sorry guys but this will not be a spoiler free review!

I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews on this book, people either love it or hate it. I can see why people are divided over this and I’ll tell you why. Kel Kade has created an unbeatable character, that means that there is not much self development that can go on in this book other than perhaps social learning. I’ll explain, I had been hanging out since book one to try and figure out how many rules there were, how many skills you could master etc, I wanted to know precisely how many Rezkin had mastered . So I had been listening on audible (because again I didn’t read this I downloaded the audible version which is by the way pretty kick ass. Nick Podehl is an awesome narrator.) and noting down the biggest number of rules I’d heard Rezkin mention every time I’d scribble down whatever he said then finally he just told me flat out how many skills. Are you ready? He follows all 258 rules, had mastered all 27 major skills and 63 minor skills. Yes you heard me. So with that in mind you can imagine how hard it is to beat an unbeatable opponent and I think that is where some readers struggle. There might not be enough learning and development of skills throughout the book for them to relate to the character in any way. It also makes the story line or plot predicable and unrealistic in some cases. 

In saying that, it hasn’t bothered me in the slightest. Book one was all about finding his purpose, what is he supposed to be doing and also navigating friendships and the outworld. Book two is all about developing those kinship’s and finding out who he is and what he is meant to do. So as much as he couldn’t be defeated I think these hurdles made Rezkin vulnerable and  likable.

I was completely hooked on Rezkin’s many characters he played. Every time the Raven came out to play and terrorize I was biting my lips in anticipation. I know it’s bad but I love how calculated Rezkin is when playing the Raven, he’s dark and dangerous and deadly. It’s almost hard to believe that the Raven and Lord Rezkin are one and the same. I think that might be another reason I didn’t mind that Rezkin was the unbeatable character. He is really quite sweet and gentle when it’s needed. For example, when he play’s Lord Rezkin and is protecting Frisha’s honor or proclaiming the obligations the nobles have to their people. I think those ideals make him human where the Raven makes him godly or demonic.

On the other hand Rezkin has so many secrets from everyone that I’m really surprised he managed to keep track of who knew what. In the end I began to get a little annoyed that he told the master swords woman who he was so easily, I don’t believe she had earned the right to know what he had treated as such privileged information. Frisha didn’t even know and he only told that lady (her name starts with a U, I have no idea how to spell it – one downside to audible.) because of Paulus.  Everyone else either earned that right or discovered it themselves. 

I really like Kai’s character. Someone has to push back at Dark Tidings rules and plans somehow hey? He can’t win every war or fight, not everything should go his way and I loved that Kai has is own plans and motives that are still loyal to Rezkin but show that there is another way to be doing things also.

I’ll admit I was a little disappointed when Paulus died, he was one of the better characters and I sat there wondering why Kai hadn’t gone and got everyone on the boats then stayed to protect his liege. Am I the only one?

The main peeve I had with this book was that some things were explained over and over and over. To the point where the repetition was almost ridiculous. Whereas some things weren’t explained enough. I found myself asking where is that character from? I don’t remember them boarding the boat or joining the group, who is that person? But perhaps that was because this was an audio book and I can walk around doing my house chores while listening and my concentration has slipped in those places? I dunno!

As you can tell by my rating though, I loved this book. It’s dangerous and daring and deadly. Hardly any smoochy stuff and I like that for a change. I think its really well written for a self published novel and applaud Kade for doing such a good job on it. There is certainly never a dull moment. I personally would love to see Kade published by a major publishing house as I think they would clean this story up to perfection with him. The plot is just too good for them to pass up!

If you did enjoy this review, please do remember to give it a star and don’t forget to hit follow if you’d like to keep updated for when I post new rambling blogs!

I also have a YouTube  channel if you’d like to check it out because of course, every little bit helps!

Thank you for reading!

Till next time,

xoxo Book Dragon Ash

Free the Darkness by Kel Kade

Title: Free the Darkness   Author: Kel Kade   Series: King’s Dark Tidings   Genre: YA, Fantasy   Rating: Five Stars

 

I’m so excited about this book. Because all my research about this book pointed to this being a self published title I was surprised to find that I liked it. Normally I find self published novels to be amateur both in plot and execution. Now I’ll admit I actually listened to this on Audible so I’m not sure about linking words, spelling and punctuation as the narrator did such a good job of conveying the story seamlessly. His many accents for each character and realistic narration made it easy for me to enjoy. 

I was hooked from the start. Kel Kade opens with a small back story and then immediately jumps into the action and that set up the bar for the rest of the novel. We were given snippets of information about the character at the start which was effective but also slightly annoying as I found that I wanted just a touch more. We hardly found out anything about Rezkin other than his relentless and rigorous training until perhaps one third of the way through the book. As such there wasn’t much character depth as I would normally like until further through the book. But this was countered by very realistic character flaws in the ‘perfect’ warrior. 

Kade made his protagonist perfect, trained since infancy to be a weapon and this was achieved by being raised in a fort with little to no outside influence so when Rezkin had to travel to what he refers to as the ‘out world’ he was taken aback by the differences. He had believed that every ‘little man’ was raised the same as him, learning ‘the rules’ of life and mastering his skills. He was in a sense naive about how out worlder’s live. I’ll give you two examples that I just loved I can’t quote as I don’t have a book to reflect on and it would just take too long for me to find the right spots but I’ll do my best to convey the scene.

  1. The little men and woman running around after a ball in a frenzy. He was sure they were not adhering to any of the rules. He was hesitant to turn his back on them not because he felt they were a threat but because they could fall into an unpredictable frenzy.

    I just couldn’t contain my giggles at this.

  2. He wasn’t sure who was in charge of allocating his friends but he was going to have to thank them for choosing so well in Tam and Frisha. (again no book to refer to so I’m not sure how to spell names.) and again, he was going to have to talk with Frisha who he believed was the head of his friends to see if Jimson could be counted as a friend also.

    I just adored this. Despite being unbeatable these are just two of the examples that Kade dropped into the story that made Rezkin relatable and vulnerable.

There was so much action in this book and so many secrets that I think I kept reading/listening to see if the next page would reveal the mystery. 

I think Rezkin was a great character, yes he’s perhaps too infallible but I really didn’t mind that. Look at Sarah J. Maas and her Throne of Glass series, Celaena is very much the same the only difference between the two for me is their genders.

The one thing that I perhaps should have deducted a point off for was that every woman did swoon perhaps a little to much over Rezkin. We know he’s unusually handsome but I doubt that every woman would be so weak as to throw themselves at him all the time. I’m not exaggerating, every female in the story was literally offering sex except perhaps Frisha.

Speaking of Frisha, I like her but I think she’s portrayed a little bratty for a commoner. She is prone to throwing tantrums and making issues out of things and she does so publicly instead of behind closed doors. But I do like how honest she is and her brotherly relationship with Tam is nice.

There are still so many questions left unanswered in this novel that I know I’ll just have to read on. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT ON EARTH IS HAPPENING.

I really do believe this story has the potential to be more than a three book trilogy and I don’t think anyone would mind that!

That’s about as much as I can write about this without going into spoiler territory.

 

If you did enjoy this review, please do remember to give it a star and don’t forget to hit follow if you’d like to keep updated for when I post new rambling blogs!

I also have a YouTube  channel if you’d like to check it out because of course, every little bit helps!

Thank you for reading!

Till next time,

xoxo Book Dragon Ash

 

 

 

 

Warrior Witch by Danielle L Jensen

Title: Warrior Witch   Author: Danielle L Jensen   Series: The Malediction Trilogy   Genre: YA, Fantasy   Rating: Four Stars

Oh my, my heart is a sobby mess.

Firstly, I really don’t know why this series is called The Malediction Trilogy. Where did Malediction come from? Have I missed some crucial piece of information? I would have thought this series would be named Trollus Chronicles or Witch Trials or something. Can someone explain this for me?

three coversAside from my complete lack of knowledge on the name of the series, I really love these books. I’ve been hooked since book one where I was completely taken aback, if you read my review on Stolen Songbird you’ll know that the cover had me on edge, whoever thought these were good covers needs a wallop. I’ve never seen a more ugly covered series in all my life. BUT I am definitely a big fan of Danielle  Jensen. I love the depth of characters and the world that’s been created and the scheming by god the scheming. There is so much plotting and planning from so many sides happening in this novel!

There were so many touching moments in this novel I found my heart being wrenched from my chest and then put back in haphazardly with a band-aid so many times. I’ll admit, I find that Tristan and Cecile annoy me most of the time, I love them together and am definitely on their team but by god they are awfully stubborn and  quite often annoying. I actually liked Tristan more than Cecile in this book. Cecile was a little bit silly at times and a touch rude here or there. I found Tristan was more dedicated and loyal and  felt the reality and pressures of what was occurring more than Cecile did.

Now there are two reasons this book was given four stars.

The first reason I deducted half a star was because I noticed a handful of spelling errors or missing words like ‘if’, ‘do’ or ‘it’. Joining words. It really threw me and ruined the spell the rest of the book had put me under. I found this was the same thing I noticed in the other book I read recently, The Queen of Blood and I honestly don’t believe that in this day and age it should be happening. The other book was an award winning published author of ten other titles, this book is not however, so many qualified editors work on these manuscripts and with word showing you most of your errors and then having a professional work on this for months with you I just don’t think more than one or two errors is acceptable.

The second reason I deducted half a star was because I had a few to many issues with Cecile as a character in this book. There were a few scene’s I was cringing in and as I mentioned above I found Tristan’s character more noble and smart than I did Cecile’s.

Perhaps I’m being a touch unfair with my next comments but hey, there was one other reason I rated this four and not five stars. I didn’t like the ending. *bring on the angry mob* I know that I am a minority here, most of the people I’ve talked to or read reviews from have loved the sobby, tear jerking ending and honestly, it was executed so well. I It was so real I found myself crying and heartbroken but I also found myself cursing and swearing at the injustices of it.   It was touching and realistic, you can’t win every war right? But the reason I didn’t like it is because 30 years, 30 YEARS passed and yes they found a way to be together in the end but Tristan who I liked more than Cecile missed out on so bloody much. The only reason Cecile was able to go into the Fey domain was because of their bond. Their son will never make it over to them. I hate knowing that even though it wasn’t suggested in the slightest my mind jumped to their son who will never have a relationship with his father.

If you did enjoy this review, please do remember to give it a star and don’t forget to hit follow if you’d like to keep updated for when I post new rambling blogs!

I also have a YouTube  channel if you’d like to check it out because of course, every little bit helps!

Thank you for reading!

Till next time,

xoxo Book Dragon Ash

 

The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

Title: The Queen of Blood   Author: Sarah Beth Durst   Genre: YA, Fantasy   Rating: Four Stars

Disclaimer : This review has been sponsored by HarperCollins Publishers however I would like you to know that everything I mention in my review is my genuine opinion. This review has been in no way influenced by other sources.

Thank you HarperCollins for your support.

This will be a spoiler free review!

Well this was certainly an original story. We’ve used and abused every fae, fey, vampire, werewolf thing to the point of no return so I was relieved when I read this to find a totally original concept. I really enjoyed reading this book but had a few key issues with it. I’m still debating my rating, should it be a three or a four but I’ll stick to my four and I’ll tell you why at the end. 

This book is so unique. The concepts and world that Sarah Beth Durst has created is unlike anything I’ve read lately and I love that. I’ve read a lot of the Fae books lately and I’m getting a little tired of them. This is something different all together. Spirits verses humans. I love how both parties were in some way submissive or controlled by power or fear by the other, it created an intriguing society that I craved to know more about. 

The world that Durst has created is really mind blowing, it’s described so thoroughly that you van visually imagine the villages high in the trees, sunlight pouring through the branches, people walking along wooden bridges to get to other wooden villages. I loved it. This is the kind of setting that would look amazing in a movie, its magical, scary, detailed and realistic.

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I’m also used to a very prominent love story and that did not occur in this book and surprisingly I didn’t really mind. It made the situations and goals within the characters stand out more than the love story and usually the love story is the issue, how do the protagonists find each other again? Well our main character Daleina was all about self development and growth and her love interest was there but it was at sidelines while the main story followed her trials to achieve her goals.

I wasn’t sure how to feel about how many years were jumped or skipped in this book. I’ve seen it done on occasion but not as drastically as in this book. It wasn’t done in a way that made you feel scattered or disordered but it was big enough for me to sit there and think, really? Nothing of interest happened within five years that was worth noting more than a paragraph? That was what knocked off half a star for me.

The other point that made me knock off another half star was the amount of spelling or grammatical errors I noticed while reading. Now, I’m not perfect when it comes to grammar, I’ve been known to get my quite and quiet mixed up among many other things but in a professionally published book this should not be happening. At least not more than once or twice for my liking. I noticed at least five errors if not more. I wish I’d been a good blogger and noted these down but I didn’t. Sentences were missing the joining words in many places, it wasn’t the spelling or punctuation it was joining words that make the sentence make sense. 

Before I got started on this book I made sure to read a few reviews from other book lovers and bloggers to see what they thought about this book, everyone has said much of the same comments, the world, the spirits, the characters, the plot was all interesting or whatever, but I’m highly surprised that no one else has made a point of outlining this key issue so far. There were so many times it happened that it jarred me out of the story. Each time I was deeply in the world of Aratay and thrown back into the world of the living. For an ‘award winning author’ as it says on her bio, I really don’t think its acceptable.

Now I didn’t deduct a star for this because it’s not actually part of the book itself but rather the direction of the series. Perhaps I should include it in my rating or perhaps I shouldn’t I really don’t know. Drust has released the name, cover and synopsis of the next book in this series, The Reluctant Queen, my issue is that this book doesn’t follow Daleina right after the coronation. It doesn’t look like it’ll touch on Merecot becoming Queen and how Daleina and her could become enemies or allies. I won’t go into what the second book is about though you can find the information on Durst’s webpage. I’m sure the second book will be great but I’m just disappointed that it seems like it won’t be covering Daleina as much as I feel it should. There is so much left to explore for Daleina than Durst is covering and that is disappointing. 

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Till next time,

xoxo Book Dragon Ash